AUBURN HILLS, MICH.: Eastern Conference coaches spent the last week seemingly doing two things: voting on All-Star reserves for their conference and hammering the Cavs for firing their first-place coach.



Perhaps the two are related. It serves at least as one theory for why LeBron James is the Cavs’ lone player representative after the first-place team sent four players to last year’s All-Star game.



“In this league it’s always been about winning and winning has always been rewarded,” said Tyronn Lue, who will coach the East team next month in Toronto. “I’ve just never seen being a first-place team and getting one guy in. I’ve never seen that before.”



Kevin Love was left off the coaches’ list of reserves despite being one of four players in the East averaging a double-double. Three of them incidentally, were left off the team. Only Pistons center Andre Drummond, whom the Cavs face Friday night, made the cut.



Love was a three-time All-Star in Minnesota, yet he hasn’t made it in either of his first two seasons in Cleveland. He is averaging 15.7 points and 10.8 rebounds, although he’s shooting under 42 percent – a career-low in a season when he was healthy.



“I think there’s a lot of good players in the East,” Love said. “I’ve said that all along, especially at the forward position.”



A number of opposing coaches have taken shots at the Cavs over the course of the last week for Blatt’s firing. Two of the more outspoken ones, the Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy (who also serves as team president) and the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, are the Cavs’ next two opponents.



Pop joked after the Spurs were hammered by the Warriors that he could be in danger of being fired if his general manager was in the locker room more, a direct shot at Cavs general manager David Griffin, while Van Gundy called the firing embarrassing.



“That one, to me, elevated all of the coach firings totally into the theater of the absurd,” Van Gundy said. “It was insane.”



Whether or not opposing coaches let Blatt’s firing influence their voting will never be known. LeBron James, however, insisted he hasn’t heard many of the comments from around the league.



“I haven’t seen any of the coaches speak out on it, so I really haven’t noticed it much,” he said. “But we got to earn our respect. As a team and as a franchise we’ve got to continue to earn our respect. It’s just another notion of that.”



Love could still be added by the commissioner's office as an injury replacement.